Today we’re talking about a platform that can help contractors and others in the construction industry save time and money while becoming more productive. In the second installment of our construction series, our expert in the construction industry, Katina Peters, helps us tackle this topic. We are also welcoming back a return guest! You may remember Jason Perez from Episode #49 Being a Visionary. He is an entrepreneur, advisor, CEO, and co-founder of YARDZ. It is fitting we welcome him back on the show for the construction series because of his background in construction and entrepreneurship.
What we cover in this episode:
- 02:31 – The impacts of this technology on the construction industry
- 05:03 – How did YARDZ develop as a construction technology tool?
- 09:39 – Automation, efficiencies, and benefits of YARDZ
- 21:23 – How will the proposed infrastructure bill impact the industry?
- 24:58 – How construction technology helps the bottom line
The impacts of this technology on the construction industry
As we discussed in Episode #81, which covers the basics of construction accounting, technology designed specifically for the industry can help streamline processes and increase profit. When you eliminate the need for manual processes to record, gather, and track information, you can spend more time analyzing the data to improve your business.
We are excited to talk today about a platform that can help contractors and construction business owners save time, money and become more productive. More specifically, it will help with both rented and owned equipment, which can be a large area for improvement. Before we dig into the specifics, we wanted to highlight one of the benefits in the form of a testimonial that is listed on the YARDZ website that really stood out to us – and may really resonate with our listeners who are in the construction industry. Joe – VP of a National Utility Contractor stated, “I saved 20k in equipment called off in the first month… It’s a game-changer. No more forgotten equipment.”
“$20,000 is pretty significant for using a product for the first month. Especially when I think his account was priced at $199 a month in what he is paying”, stated Jason, and added, “The ROI was pretty instantaneous, but the reality is it wasn’t that we did something remarkably crazy. What we did was just make it easier for our client to see all the things he was renting… And so, just by giving simple visibility of the equipment usage, it was transformational to them as a company. And it was a big deal to their bottom line.”
How did YARDZ develop as a construction technology tool?
Jason has an extensive background in construction, which led him to develop the idea for the YARDZ platform. Jason stated “I’m not a tech guy. I’ve never had Facebook or any of those things. I’m not the guy that you call to hook up all your speakers in your car or in your home. Like, I’m not that guy. I can frame out some walls. I can dig some holes. You know, I’m a construction guy and my father was an electrical contractor. So I started by crawling in attics when we were doing residential stuff. And then he grew it into a small commercial business, but I grew up in and around the construction industry.”
Jason added that initially, he resisted getting into the construction industry. He graduated college and thought he would follow a different path, but came back to construction. Jason’s construction career began as a labor superintendent, then a project manager, ultimately to a position running a division of the Southeast for an international company. He then started his own consulting business.
The idea for YARDZ originated from solving a problem in the construction industry with rentals and was hatched during a conversation with Jason’s neighbor who was in the rental industry. Jason stated “We were sitting down just having a chat and my neighbor said, you know, I rent out a lot of equipment, but sometimes we don’t have it. So then I called some of my buddies at other companies and I help my customers find it. Then they call me to call it off… But they’re not even my pieces of equipment.” It’s easy to lose track of equipment and managing it all came down to creating their own devices, which were spreadsheets, whiteboards, and even sticky notes with different colors that represented different companies.
Jason stated, “I can tell you, one of our customers told the story where they lost a piece of equipment on a roof, for 13 years. They did a job and they installed the roof. They left the project and then 13 years later, a storm hit really hard at this building. So there was some damage from a tree and things like that. They went up and they’re like, oh, there’s that generator that we didn’t know what happened to it.” Technology can help avoid situations like this without adding extra manual steps to your team’s list of responsibilities.
Automation, efficiencies, and benefits of YARDZ
Many construction companies have been managing their assets through inefficient methods like whiteboards and spreadsheets. YARDZ brings automation and efficiency to this process, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business while driving down costs.
Simplicity is at the heart of YARDZ. Jason explained that “That’s been our goal since day one. We’ve got to simplify it first. We’ve got to make it easy for people to use and we got to make their day shorter. We’ve got to give them peace of mind at the end of it. And they’ve gotta be able to simply see the things that matter” Jason continued.
Automation and Prioritization Allow for Increased Efficiency
This is a technology that automatically streamlines and prioritizes work to eliminate many of the manual steps involved in tracking spreadsheets and the like. Jason went on to describe, “When someone logs in, they know exactly what they need to focus on, because there’s an alert that says, here are the four things you need to worry about today. And when the list is sent out, it is sent out to each team member with what’s on their project, but it doesn’t have everything else in the company, just what they need.” There is a similar simplicity that serves as the basis of the maintenance side as well. Jason explained how the interface works, “When I go to my maintenance board to see what I need to get maintained, they’re color-coded. And so I can see red at the top. Orange is next, yellow is next. And if there’s no color, it’s probably not coming up for a while.”
The technology streamlines processes but also offers flexibility to give users the ability to use it as they need. The system is able to match the behavior and workflow of the people, allowing business owners to run their construction business without losing control, and to fit the technology to their unique business needs.
Ramifications of Mismanaging Assets (Rented or Owned)
The ramifications of not managing assets efficiently can be devastating in terms of lost time, productivity, and money, as well as missing crucial project deadlines. Jason stated the differences offered by utilizing technology, “You don’t have to do all the work. You don’t have to call everybody. They’re just clicking on an email that takes them five seconds. You have full accountability in one place. And most importantly, you’re changing behavior because if they forgot that piece of equipment or tool in the last week, guess what, now they can remember.”
How will the proposed infrastructure bill impact the industry?
We want to switch focus just a bit and talk about something that many of us have been seeing in the news recently. We want to bring up the proposed new infrastructure bill being debated in Congress. We’ve all been seeing how it may impact different areas across the country, but we wanted to get Jason’s insights on how he thinks it will be impacting the construction industry.
Jason shared, “There’s definitely gonna be a surge in the infrastructure side. And we have a lot of utility contractors that use our product because of the logistics management that we have. I think what we’re going to see here is there’s definitely going to be a surge in these heavy equipment-type projects.” says Jason. So there will likely be an increase in overall volume.
There will also be considerations around buying vs. renting equipment without overextending. When it comes to this topic, Jason adds, “Because I don’t want to overexpose either getting into this boom, by buying a bunch of equipment and then ending up with all these liabilities on my books either. So there’s going to be a dance around what people buy and what they rent and how they make those decisions. And how do you minimize the exposure one way or the other? And how do I take advantage of the opportunity to maybe pay for some of this equipment? Maybe I need new equipment because I’ve reached the end-of-life cycle on items that I bought previously. So it’s going to be an interesting time, especially within the equipment world. According to Jason, equipment rentals in the construction industry have seen some massive gains in the last four or five years. “I think equipment rental is going to get bigger and bigger for the next three to five years,” says Jason.
How construction technology helps the bottom line
The points made above about growth are why managing this aspect of your business is so crucial though. If the volume is increasing but you are still managing this in a manual way, the chances of error increase drastically and margins are not very large in construction. Jason continued with the point about savings, “And when we’re saving our customers 10 to 30% in overall rental costs, you’ve got to think about that. We surveyed our customers, and they’ve said, normally we spend X amount of money a year, based on our volume. And what we’re seeing now is we’re spending at least 10% less. If you spend a million dollars and you save a hundred thousand dollars in rentals, it’s not because you’re driving the price down. It’s just because you’re not using it longer than you need it. And nobody should have problems with saying, if I don’t need it, I don’t want to pay for it. I think that should be an easy business decision.” Jason stated.
That leads us to another testimonial from a client of YARDZ that sums up the real savings that can be so impactful for construction business owners. The testimonial from Jesse at DPR construction says, “I have seen the real savings, and can’t imagine ever going back to the old way. I feel in control of my rentals. So simple. So powerful.”
Jason says, “I think a lot of people understand what the platform is, but they don’t understand the benefits until they get on and they see it in the demo. And once they do, they say, wow, I’ve needed this my whole life. And I didn’t even know that I needed it, or, I thought my spreadsheet was really efficient, but it’s not.” Leveraging the technology that is available to construction business owners in a platform like YARDZ allows them to get things done more efficiently, and have a strategic approach to managing their businesses. Visit the YARDZ website to learn more and book a free demo.
The YARDZ platform can help construction businesses save time and money while becoming more productive. As with all companies, the goal should be to be more efficient, drive down costs, and become more profitable. The unique challenges of the construction industry can be overcome with systems that bring together every part of your business, make problems easier to solve and give a strategic approach to managing the entire business. The name of the game in the industry is to save money on your projects, and in turn, win more bids and projects. The YARDZ technology platform can help you achieve your goals and help your business grow.
If you are interested in learning more or scheduling a free demo to see what YARDZ can do for you, please visit the YARDZ website, and contact them for more information.
Links mentioned in this episode:
- Episode #49: Being a Visionary
- Episode #81: The Construction Series: Intro and Basics of Construction Accounting